Wonder Woman Gabriela Lujan Paez

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Gabriela is a full time mom, nurse and is new to jiujitsu but embodies the fighter spirit long before she stepped on the mats. She trains currently out of 10th Planet Corona. Get to know this week’s wonder woman!

When did you start training in jiujitsu?
-April 2016

Why did you start training and how did you find jiujitsu?
I started training because I heard or seen on Facebook through friends of Sean Bollinger‘s or some of his posts how it can change your character and the jiu jitsu saved my life movement. How for them after they started training, the cross training between jiujitsu and yoga, or jiujitsu and lifting, and other combinations as well as their diet change fell into place for them, and I definitely wanted to be healthier for not only me but my boy as an example. I found out about jiu jitsu when Aiden was 4 years old, he was getting picked on in school and I wanted him to not only know how to properly and safely defend himself, but build character through it.

How has training changed your life both physically, mentally, or spiritually
Mentally jiujitsu has definitely made me not only more confident in my self, as to what I can achieve that I never thought I could and goal-setting where I would still like to be, but also in my appearance. I would wear less and less make up, feeling more comfortable and beautiful in my own skin, as well as with my body, that I had always been a rather picked-on chubby bunny. Physically, I am more awake, more lively, as before I started training my diet and exercise was VERY high in sugar in and low in activity, that now because I would like to test my self with/in tournaments, and would like to excel in learning, I do what I can to achieve it through proper dieting, home exercises and runs

Can you share a story where you had an unexpected challenge or tragedy in life, and how you overcame it?
I was never able to stand in pictures, I would make sure I’d be the one taking them. When I went to my first seminar Sean was so happy he was taking pictures. When I saw them I was mortified how out of shape I had become, from just stress eating. And at the same time, it was the first night I met Ms. Lynn Vuonng, and saw a very good example/role model of where I would like to be, as she was very helpful and didn’t mind my social awkwardness/shyness ha I remember going back to the hotel and i sat on it, and played it out in my head, but knew that thinking wasn’t going to do anything about it, I had to get up, set goals and make that change and stick to it.

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You currently train at 10th Planet Corona with Sean Bollinger and Jeremy Fields. What’s it like to train with some of the OGs in the 10th Planet system and who else do you train with on a regular basis?

I am absolutely, without a doubt, spoiled. ha They both team up and walk around while drilling and/or drill with us, and very much practice the “leave no student behind”. If they see a student struggling they are quick to step in and go over it at their pace. And I also am blessed to have Jeff Willingham helping me out there as well, neither of them taking it easy, giving everyone equal attention and treatment, with lots of laughs in-between. And they stay up to date with everyone, making sure if they have tournaments to take that time aside and prep them/us for it, as well as alot of encouragement. Everyone there is like the brothers/sisters that look out for me, and we look out for them.10th Planet Corona fam is real ha!

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Can you take us through a typical week? You are a Mom to a handsome 7 year old, Aiden, which is a full time gig, you train, you work—how do you juggle it all?
  • Sunday I have just recently been joining the ladies at 10th Planet Costa Mesa for open mat 1030-12
  • Sunday through Thursday night I work night-shift as a pediatric nurse from 11PM-7AM
  • Monday/WedFri- 8AM take Mr Aiden to school, sleep for a bit go to 10th Planet Corona noon class from 1130-1/130 get home shower sleep until 240 then pick up Aiden and do homework, cook, relax, hang with Sean from 830PM until I leave for work.
  • Tuesday/Thursday – home exercises and mile runs with the pups, sleep and repeat the schedule when Aiden gets out of school ha
  • Saturday is the family time, and/or usually fit in some rolling or technique with Sean in the garage

They boys definitely make it easy for me, they never complain, the cover me up if I fall asleep on the couch and always take notice if Im tired and either quiet down or start bringing me stuff like the remote or volunteer to do other things for me on top of their own, as well as my parents. I’m surrounded by a great support system!

Who inspires you or who do you look up to?
Aiden inspires me non-stop, he naturally makes me want to be a better person someone he can look up tp and someone he would like to either be like or go to for advice. Sean inspires me everyday, he’s got hidden battles, that he just bounces back from stronger each time, and still makes it to class. He is constantly telling me/showing me/testing me that I can do better to the point I surprise myself. I can”t forget Lynn, she is definitely someone to look up for me, she was the second girl and third person I ever rolled with, and just seeing how she goes to school, trains hard and works and supports that healthy lifestyle/living. Definite badass ha

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years, both in jiujitsu and in life?
I see myself maybe moving out of state, maybe going to Springfield one say with Aiden and Sean, and getting the gym up and spreading the word of supporting womens bjj and what it can do, and how it can change/save your life whether it be physical or mental

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How did you discover the Fight Chix brand, what does it mean to you and what is your favorite item on the site?
First time seeing it was with Lindsey and Brandon, and I went to the Fight Chix page, read what it was all about, and getting people out there. As soon as I started wearing the brand, my friends and family seeing the change would ask aboout it, and it opened up that conversation. Definitely the new gray hoodie with the Fight Chix emblem, Ill be ordering that real soon!! haha

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I would like to thank 10th Planet Corona – Sean and Jeremy are my sponsors and they get me training, deals, and gear!

Thank you so much for the opportunity, I’m very excited and it means a great deal to Sean and I !

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